The Edge of Normal

According to the Body Mass Index chart, I am on the edge of normal. Well doesn’t that just say it all.

So close and yet…..still not quite there.

If I lose just one more pound, just one, I will ease right off the overweight box and right into normal. Ahhh.

I bet if there’s a chart for emotional well-being, I might be on the edge of normal on that one, too. Something good keeps me on this side of that dark line.

Bottom line:


on the high side of normal

suits me just fine

as I work to be stronger

in body and mind

Some time in August

I should reach my prime

And bee-bop-a-lou

is the end of the rhyme





Zuppa del Giorno – Minestrone

A great advantage to being retired is almost always having the time to make soup. No rush required —— I love it and appreciate it!

Ingredients for minestrone basically include whatever good food you have around. I used the ones pictured since that’s what I had around. I use a quart of vegetable broth and about a quart of water in the mix.

I will probably throw in a cup or so of frozen peas and corn and some kind of canned beans would be good – like kidney or cannelloni.

Oh and a can of Italian green beans. And a can of diced tomatoes.

A cup or so of left over spaghetti sauce is always a good addition. And a tablespoon or so of sugar is good but not essential.

The spice amounts depend on what you like. I did the following – approximately:

2 teaspoons each of ground fennel, onion powder; chili powder

1 teaspoon each of garlic powder along with the three cloves of chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric powder, celery powder, smoked paprika, ground oregano along with the fresh, dried thyme along with a bit of fresh time, Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning and Umami Seasoning Blend, salt, pepper

Sauté onions, celery, carrots in olive oil or water. Add in the carrots, pepper, potatoes, zucchini (can add zucchini in later since it cooks fairly quickly), etc — whatever you have. Gradually add in broth and water as you go along.

A chef of some kind suggested adding the spices in gradually as you add in ingredients.

Throw in a bay leaf at the end and let it simmer.

Buon appetito!

Including a Teeny Tiny Pancake – Vegan Fix for King Arthur Gluten-Free Pancake Mix


King Arthur Gluten-Free Pancake Mix turns out to taste very good and even has a great pancake texture.  The recipe on the box includes an egg and I used an egg the first time but then I wanted to try it without the egg since I’m omitting eggs from diet as part of an elimination thing.  This time instead of an egg, I used a little more milk and a tablespoon of ground flax seed thrown into the mix.  I used flax milk instead of dairy.

It turned out to be delicious and maintained the texture and taste.

Quick fix!


Spring of Hope

It is my nine year anniversary for my blog on WordPress.  Seems like I should recognize and celebrate that by writing something amazing.  

Well, that’s not going to happen.


In these idiotic times, I grow weary.  Old girls they do get weary.

It is  the best of times.  It is the worst of times.

How about this:  Plant your own garden.  Plot your own peace.  We have the illusion that we can control way more than we can.  Could be time to focus on tending to the life that is right here and focus on the things over which we do have some semblance of control.  Maybe stop trying to convince people to stop doing something or start doing something.  Seems like as individual humans we demand other people to be a certain way, when we can’t even get our own self to be a certain way.  Maybe that’s why people look to make the whole world change – seems easier than changing yourself.  Start where you are and fix that; might ripple into bigger changes than the ones shouted about in the form of accusations and threats.  I am weary of my own outrage.

“…so you plant your own garden

and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting

for someone to bring you flowers.”


How about this?


“Fearlessness is better than a faint heart for any man who puts his nose out of doors.  The length of my life and the day of my death were fated long ago.”

From : for scirnis – norse mythology


This Might be Too Much

A line from one of my favorite classic movies:
“I think the human race is having a nervous breakdown.”

I do not claim to have the answers or to be right about any of this; I am just wondering…

Even though
I tend to get overly concerned about what can go wrong in life, and even though I have been considered to be a worrier beyond what is helpful, and even though I can become a little too focused on physical changes and aches and possible health troubles, even I, a hyper-vigilant human, EVEN I wonder at the shut down of the entire planet due to concerns about covid19.  Concerns that appear to be in some ways out of proportion compared to all the other contagious and not contagious stuff that can make us sick and even make us die.

100,000 people died in the USA in 1968 from the H3N2 virus pandemic; one million deaths worldwide; most excess deaths were in people over 65.*     Sound familiar?  I was 16 years old; I don’t remember it being  a topic of discussion or being afraid of it.  That’s something that makes me wonder about how this is being handled currently.  Maybe it is that we learned something from that and we can curtail the damage from this one.  I hope so. 


I just don’t know enough yet about just how different this virus is and if it hunts me down and overwhelms me, I will surely be proven wrong.

Right now, though, I wonder if  it is possible that maybe the disease is not all-consuming. At the very least, maybe there are more choices beyond shutting down entirely vs opening everything up in an instant.  Gathering huge congregations of people for events — even for churches and synagogues and mosques might need to be delayed for longer than we all might like.  It could be that people over 60 or so with health problems, would be the ones who mostly stay home and healthy people under 60 can get back to work.

It would be nice if we could muddle through this without unwarranted fear and self-destruction.

I think the quarantine makes sense on some basic level; especially before we actually had any idea of how things would develop.  At this point, we may need to take the risk and GRADUALLY open up based on the situation in each state or city or village or little farm in the middle of nowhere and nobody.   I think we will do that.  But some experts and pretend-journalists seem to be suggesting we shut down indefinitely and that just seems so out-of-context – is there something they really aren’t telling us?

“If even one life is saved,” preaches the governor of New York, then we must continue the shutdown. He says we can’t risk even one life. And yet we take risks consistently.  By driving cars for one glaring example and we drive 75 miles an hour every day and every day thousands of people get injured or die; driving at 25 miles per hour would save many lives but we don’t even consider that. We take risks with flu’s and cold viruses and even by our eating habits. The governor doesn’t stop everything so that those lives can be saved – not even one.  He never scolded people or prohibited elective cosmetic surgery, for example,  even though people can die from complications from that – at least one has anyway so if that’s the criteria, mustn’t he act? That cannot really be the basis for this quarantine and, in fact, it is not the reason for it at all; it is to slow down the spread so we can deal with it more effectively. He knows this so he is either dishonest or ridiculous.

And why does the majority of the media not at least question this? What happened to speaking truth to power? Now they just seem to echo whatever political stance they agree with and then go on to berate their opposition at every opportunity.  Question it all, please, so that we can get a true picture and be more likely to find protection from a rogue virus and not just be terrified of it.

Some of the other humans seem more anxiety-attacked than me. At least I realize I’m over-reacting.  It’s as though every over-reactive, non-productive thing I’ve learned through the years NOT to do, has become standard procedure.  One pervasive panic attack.

Ah, well.  Maybe this virus is different and we’re all going to be obliterated and boy will I feel silly.

Other years, the local and national news bombarded us with traumatic reports of the regular flu, and mosquitos, and ticks and bees that will kill you on sight. They show absurdly enlarged pictures of bugs and germs and all kinds of visuals except for one with chicken little running through the streets crying the sky is falling (they use a rookie reporter instead of the chicken for that visual). They have made themselves ridiculous and obnoxious. Even the weather has become a vehicle of fear rather than information; on a beautiful, warm and sunny day, we are directed to the SEVERE WEATHER CENTER forecast, just in case we make a mistake and relax for a couple of hours.

Because this is what the media seems to have been reduced to, without even a pretense of objectivity: sensationalizing almost every single thing in a constant barrage of fear and terror (offset with some cute animal picture from social media).  And then belittle the viewers who have lost confidence in and question the veracity of the news.   

What is the motive? To gain an audience? To say, “Look at me. Look at me. I am a rodeo clown. Watch my advertisements and make me rich and famous?”  It’s discouraging and disappointing and gives genuine journalism a bad name. And thank goodness there are still some ethical journalists out there.

Meanwhile, once this current crisis is resolved, which it will be (one way or another), I’m waiting for the next headlines to be: “Danger. Danger. Thousands of people are dying each day all over the world! The overwhelming majority of them are over 85 years old. No known cause. We must stop this tragedy.” Oh, wait, people have a tendency to grow old and die; have to find another scary situation to exploit. Can’t tell the terrorists from the reporters and the politicians.

Most importantly, such reporting makes it impossible to know what is factual and what is hysterical. And that does a disservice to us all because when they finally get around to telling the truth, they come off like the boy who cried wolf howling into the abyss.

Lentil Vegan Taco Filling 🌮


Taco Seasoning Mix:

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed

1 tablespoon chili powder  

Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt if the chili powder is unsalted — or salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon red pepper

1/8 teaspoon paprika

VEGETABLES –  to sauté in a little olive oil and/or water with some of the seasoning sprinkled in:

1/2 sweet onion

1 small carrot diced carrot

1/2 diced red pepper

A few sliced mushrooms – cooked

After sautéing for a few minutes, Add in and mix in some more of the taco seasoning, then add in 2 cups Lentils – cooked

2 cups of lentils – cooked

1/2 cup or so of vegetable broth and/or water

Add remaining seasoning as you stir everything together.


1/4 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Mushroom & Company Umami Seasoning Blend

Top with a teaspoon or two of Follow Your Heart Soy-Free Vegenaise and whatever other toppings you like!

Little Big Miracles

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein



Day 4: Clouds and Sun Together

A view from my street on this beautiful day 
More than the routine quota of neighbors
Are heading my way

          In isolation and uncertainty

          In asymmetrical array

          We walk together

          While staying apart

          With a smile and a hand to heart

         The sun can keep a hope alive

         A quiet hope that we all will thrive 



Day 2: Open Season

Let the sunshine in please

and bring its warmth to earth

Time to gather hope again 

    and find out what it’s worth

Let the gale become breeze

     and find its way my way

This winter wind that lingers

     has clearly overstayed

Let the weather perk up

     and settle into spring

The lettuce seeds have sprouted

      the grass is turning green

Which means the time is just right

     to brighten up the scene